Feb 26 2012: Monochrome Photograph of Six Businessmen With Flowers (October 31st 1957)

Much of the dissatisfaction with the world of business in 2012 comes less from a critique of the capitalist system itself as a sense that the motives of those running it have changed: there’s a real case to answer, since following the deregulation of the City in 1986 financial engineering of various kinds tended to … Continue reading

Nov 5 2011: Eleven Advertisements for Steel, Nickel, Glass and Aluminium (from Architectural Review, March 1966)

Following yesterday’s reproduction of a four-page pull-out from the British Iron & Steel Federation, promoting the use of steel as an architectural material in 1966, here are eleven further advertisements placed by specific companies in the same magazine. Some of the buildings pictured include the Emley Moor TV mast, at that point declared Europe’s tallest construction, … Continue reading

Sep 17 2011: My Dream Time North: An Interview With Alan Plater (Big Issue in the North, 1998)

This piece was written to coincide with the premiere of Alan Plater‘s play All Credit To The Lads at Sheffield Crucible Theatre in September 1998, but as the text shows, Plater had broader questions – about politics, writing for television and much else besides – on his mind. It was lovely to have the opportunity … Continue reading

Aug 21 2011: Consuming Passions: [shift] by Emerged at the Merrion Centre, Leeds (from Big Issue in the North, 2004)

I’m not sure this feature – commissioned as an attempt to look at a project in Leeds, bringing some rather esoteric contemporary art activities to a defiantly retail-focused environment during the early summer of 2004 – is of much particular historical value, or even especially well put together. It’s fairly typical of dozens of similar pieces, many … Continue reading

Aug 20 2011: Three Chords and a Twisted Heart: An Interview with Kate Rusby (Big Issue in the North, 2000)

This interview was done at a hotel close to the BBC’s central London studios (possibly the Langham Hilton, but my mind won’t quite retreive the information) and it’s one I certainly recall covering more ground than is represented here, and consequently one I regret I don’t have a fuller version or transcript of to post … Continue reading

Aug 17 2011: The Lammas Hireling: An Interview with Ian Duhig (Big Issue in the North, 2003)

This interview took place at Ian Duhig’s home in Leeds (the exact date escapes me) and was occasioned by the shortlisting of The Lammas Hireling for The Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2003: the title poem had already received the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem in 2001. Obviously, given the social interests of The … Continue reading

Angels of Anarchy – Women Artists and Surrealism (NVA, 2009)

So many misconceptions about Surrealism are unquestioningly peddled as historical fact in the public domain that addressing the subject often feels like approaching a thicket of weeds with a machete. Reviews of the current exhibition at Manchester Art Gallery, curated by Patricia Allmer, have offered a case in point, with broadsheet critics repeating various myths, … Continue reading